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February 16, 2011    

UK consumer confidence takes a knock in January

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by Kay Murchie

The latest survey from the Nationwide Building Society has revealed a fall in UK consumer confidence for the month of January after rising in December.

The building society’s consumer confidence index plunged to 47 in January from 54 the previous month - just 6 points above the record low of 41 and way below its average of 81.

In the meantime, the Nationwide said the spending index measure is at the lowest level since November 2008 - falling 20 points to 70, while the expectations sub-index dropped 10 points to 63.

Commenting on the report, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said the latest fall is not a surprise.

“Consumer perceptions are likely to have been dented by the rise in VAT and the upward pressure on inflation more generally, with rising prices for petrol and other essentials likely to have been recorded during the month,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to the Nationwide, consumers are pessimistic about the prospects of the housing market.

They expect the value of their homes to fall by 1.1% over the next six months.

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